Sail away: Why Indonesia’s Raja Ampat is your dream diving destination
However, there are always alternatives available. Some people go kayaking, some opt for snorkelling, some chill out on a beach on a deserted island, where the team has set up loungers, umbrellas and bottles of cold water. (“Your beach is ready,” they announce when they are done.)
Words by Ute Junker
Photo Credit Alila Hotels
Originally published in Australian Financial Review
Most of us, however, take every opportunity for a slice of reef action. Fed by a series of nutrient-rich currents, Raja Ampat is home to 1300 species of reef fish (and counting) and more than 600 species of hard coral – 75 per cent of the world’s total – not to mention a dazzling collection of soft corals that sway – sometimes gently, sometimes more agitatedly – in the currents.
Every dive brings something new to wonder at, from large Napoleon fish to tiny neon tetras, big schools of sweet lips and trevally, even rays and lionfish. You might encounter a turtle or a scorpionfish, or clouds of damselfish that flutter around you like a shower of confetti. Look closely at the coral and you might spot a pygmy seahorse hiding amid its branches. Head for the deep and you’re likely to encounter some of the local manta rays.
I find myself particularly enchanted by the feather stars, or crinoids….